Ethan A. Huff
April 1, 2013
A key component of the government healthcare takeover known as Obamacare is already shaping up to be a complete failure, according to reports, and it has not yet even come into effect. An official in charge of the Obamacare insurance exchange program recently told guests at a conference that the federal government is working on contingency plans for the struggling program, which was insinuated as potentially becoming a “third-world experience” if not properly handled.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HHS), the Obamacare insurance exchange, which was supposed to begin enrolling members nationwide on October 1, 2013, is no longer expected to be ready in all 50 states by that date. In fact, there is a chance that a majority of states will not be ready by the proposed start date, which means it will have to be either modified or reapportioned, or the expectations of its performance greatly lowered.
“The time for debating about the size of text on the screen or the color or is it a world-class user experience, that’s what we used to talk about two years ago,” said Henry Chao, an official at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services who is heading up the technology behind the Obamacare insurance exchange change. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”
What Chao is essentially implying here is that all the grandiose claims made several years ago about the insurance exchange aspect of Obamacare are completely unrealistic, and were never actually going to happen. And based on the way things are currently going, the focus now needs to be on simply making sure the program operates at least a little bit better than government-run health care schemes in developing, third-world countries.
“We are under 200 days from open enrollment, and I’m pretty nervous,” stated Chao to an audience filled with representatives from the insurance industry.
According to the same announcement, roughly half of all states were expected to have their insurance exchanges run directly by the federal government, while some 18 states and the District of Columbia were expected to run their own insurance exchanges. Another seven-or-so states were expected to create insurance exchanges run by state-federal partnership programs.
“I think it’s only prudent to not assume everything is going to work perfectly on day one and to make sure that we’ve got plans in place to address things that may happen,” added Gary Cohen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.
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